Saturday, April 4, 2020

Saturday Takeover! with Donald Firesmith, Author of Hell Holes 2: Demons on the Dalton

Good Morning, Bookworms! 

Today, I'm interviewing author Donald Firesmith, author of the science fiction tale Hell Holes 2: Demons on the Dalton.

Available on Kindle for 99 cents!

When did you become interested in storytelling? 

I was an avid reader of science fiction in high school and started writing science fiction short stories at about the same time. I moved on to writing software and system engineering books in the 1990s. Then began writing novels around 20 years ago.

What was the title of your first published book/story?

My first engineering book was published in 1993. My first fiction book, Magical Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore, was published in 2014, and my first novel, Hell Holes: What Lurks Below, was published in 2015. 

What inspired you to write Hell Holes: What Lurks Below?

During the summer of 2014, Russian scientists were notified of huge holes in the permafrost of northern Siberia. I thought, what if instead of 3 holes appearing sometime during the summer in northern Siberia, there were hundreds of such holes appearing overnight all around the Arctic Circle?

What character in Hell Holes: What Lurks Below is the least or most like you, and in what ways?

That would be Dr. Jack Oswald, the geologist who led the team hired by an Alaskan oil company to research the holes. I have always been fascinated by all aspects of science and have studied geology.

What is your favorite part in Hell Holes 2: Demons on the Dalton?

When the survivors from the first book are forced by a horde of demons to drive through a forest fire.

What was the hardest part to write?

Hell Holes 2: Demons on the Dalton is told first person by the climatologist wife of Dr. Oswald. In order to make her believable, I read about a dozen books with strong female protagonists that were written by female authors. One of my favorite reviews stated that the reviewer could hardly believe that the two Hell Holes books were written by the same author.
If you weren't an author, what would be your ideal career?

Some type of scientist, probably a biologist. Either that, or an engineer working on spaceships or autonomous vehicles.

Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

I love reading my reviews; they keep me motivated to continue writing. I also pay attention to negative comments, especially if multiple reviewers have the same concerns. Because even professionally-edited books still include defects, I also fix any typos or other mistakes so that the book improves over time.

What well-known writers do you admire most?

JRR Tolkien, JK Rowling, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein.

Do you have any other books/stories in the works? 

I am completing Hell Holes 3: To Hell and Back and have started the second book in my Secrets series: The Secrets of Sanctuary Cove.

About the Author

A geek by day, Donald Firesmith works as a system and software engineer helping the US Government acquire large, complex software-intensive systems. In this guise, he has authored seven technical books, written numerous software- and system-related articles and papers, and spoken at more conferences than he can possibly remember. He's also proud to have been named a Distinguished Engineer by the Association of Computing Machinery, although his pride is tempered somewhat by his fear that the term "distinguished" makes him sound like a graybeard academic rather than an active engineer whose beard is still slightly more red than gray.

By night and on weekends, his alter ego writes modern paranormal fantasy, apocalyptic science fiction, action and adventure novels, and relaxes by handcrafting magic wands from various magical woods and mystical gemstones. His first foray into fiction is the book Magical Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore written under the pen name Wolfrick Ignatius Feuerschmied. He lives in Crafton, Pennsylvania with his wife Becky, and his son Dane, and varying numbers of dogs, cats, and birds.

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